West Australia’s Ningaloo Coast has been added to the World Heritage List, despite a push by petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil and gas nearby.
The federal government nominated Ningaloo for world heritage in January last year, but Shell’s plans to drill about 50km off the coast sparked concerns mining in the region could jeopardise its inclusion on the list.
However, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced yesterday that Ningaloo would be the 19th place in Australia to be recognised as world heritage.
"The Ningaloo Coast’s striking land and seascape tells a dramatic story about the formation of oceans, movement of continents and changes in our climate," Mr Burke said.
"With more than 200km of spectacular coral reef off a rugged limestone peninsula, the Ningaloo Coast is a stunning and unique contrast between reef and arid landscape."
The heritage area covers more than 600,000 hectares.
Home of the ‘gentle giants’
One of the shark species often observed at Ningaloo, is the whale shark, the largest shark on earth. Mark Meekan, member of the scientific team of the Save Our Seas Foundation, has regularly conducted research expeditions at Ningaloo Reef. Watch Mark speak about his fascinating research at: